George Gordon Byron, as known as Lord Byron, has been one of the most influential poets in the Romantic Period of English Literature in the eighteenth century. In the Norton Anthology of English Literature, he is introduced as “the greatest and most English of these artists; he is so great and so English that from him alone we learn more truths of this country and of his age than from all the rest together. This comment reflects the fact that Byron had achieved an immense European reputation during his own lifetime, while admirers of his English contemporaries were much more limited in number. Through much of the nineteenth century the continued to be rated as one of the greatest of English poets and very prototype of literary Romanticism. His influence was manifested everywhere, among the major poets and novelists (Balzac and Stendhal in France, Pushkin and Dostoyevsky in Russia, and Melville in America), painters (especially Delacroix), and composers including Beethoven and Berlioz)”. Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage is one of Byron’s major works and even though as he claims the opposite in the prologue of his work it has traces of his own life, therefore autobiographical aspects. Hence, it provides a deep insight into the spirit of the age. He mingles his own personality and opinions into his protagonist. The poem focuses on a nobleman disillusioned with sensory pleasures, like Byron himself, who searches for fame and virtue, just like Byron’s journey to Greece. Even though how unchivalrous Byron and Byronic hero are they inherit characteristics of the spirit of the British Empire of the era.
Byron starts his wor...
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...ge as well as the politics. Thus, Lord Byron’s epic poetry Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage, through the reactions of Harold during his journey and the autobiographical elements poem has, provides a deep insight into the spirit of the society, wars, politics longing for Greek classicism through Romanticism and the struggle dominating Europe of the age.
1. Byron, George Gordon. Childe Harold’s Pilgramage. The Norton Anthology of English Literature Vol 2, New York; London: W.W. Norton & Co., 2012
2. Caminita, M. Cristina. Explaining the Explanation: Byron’s Notes to Childe Harold’s Pildgrimage. Louisiana State University and Agricultural and Mechanical College, August 2002
3. Guðmundsdótti, Sólrún Helga. The Byronic Hero Origins and legacy. Sigillum Universitatis Islandiae, May 2012
4. Thorslev, Peter L. The Byronic Hero. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1962
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